OKC Thunder Close to Ending the Dallas Mavericks’ Title Defense

by May 04, 2012

The Dallas Mavericks are now down 0-3 in their first round Playoff series to the rising OKC Thunder, and the writing is clearly on the wall for the defending NBA champs. From the Star-Telegram: “That realistic chance the Dallas Mavericks had of climbing back into this first-round playoff series with Oklahoma City is officially over. The Thunder made sure of that with Thursday’s relatively easy and very surprising 95-79 victory over the Mavs at American Airlines Center. Oklahoma City now leads this best-of-seven series 3-0 and can close it out back here on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. No team has ever rallied from an 0-3 deficit in NBA history to win a best-of-seven series. That’s the mountainous challenge the Mavs face today. ‘I don’t think we took a step forward as a team,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 17 points. ‘We took a step back.’ The Mavs were several steps slower than the much quicker Thunder all night Thursday. OKC never trailed, the game was never tied, and the Thunder’s lead was never in any serious jeopardy … ‘It’s really tough to go down 0-3, but we’re going to keep fighting,’ coach Rick Carlisle said. ‘I thought even though we played bad, we competed well. That’s hard to say when [the deficit is] in the 20’s. Until I look at the film and see otherwise, I like the way we’re battling.’ […] The Mavs now must win Saturday at home just to avoid being swept out of this series. In short, their task is so monumental that they can’t even wrap their brains around possibly winning this series. ‘We’ve got to win ‘a’ game,’ Nowitzki said. ‘If you’re down 0-3 you never focus on winning four games. We’ve got to show some pride on Saturday.'”